2021 Audi RS Q8

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in Suvs
2021 MODEL
$114,500
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9.2

Overall Rating

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2021 Audi RS Q8 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: October 7, 2020

Kiran Menon's image
Kiran Menon

Content writer


The 2021 Audi RS Q8 breaks new ground for the German marque, not only with its coupe-SUV styling but also after setting a new Nurburgring lap record for performance SUVs, taking the crown from the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S. Responsible for the RS Q8's breathtaking Nurburgring time of 7 minutes and 42.2 seconds is a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 delivering a brutal 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque - it shares this engine with the RS7 Sportback and the RS6 Avant. The Audi RS Q8 competes against the BMW X6 M, Jaguar F-pace SVR, and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

See detailed review »

Pros

Impressive power figures

Subtle yet imposing styling

Impressive ride quality

Cons

Cargo area is small

Fuel economy could be better

Infotainment can get complicated for some users

What's New?

The 2021 Audi RS Q8 is a carryover model

The 2021 model is still part of the first generation of the Audi Q8 launched back in 2018.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$114500

bodystyle

SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

190 mph

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

Turbo V8

displacement

4.0-liter

horsepower

591 hp @6500rpm

torque

590 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

transmission

8-speed Automatic

chassis

suspension front

Multi-Link

suspension rear

Multi-Link

dimensions

wheelbase

117.9 in.

length

197.3 in.

width

78.7 in.

height

66.7 in.

curb weight

5490 lbs.

ground clearance

8.7 in.

capacity

5

cargo volume

30.5 cu ft.

towing capacity

7700 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

3.7 sec.

standing ¼-mile

11.5 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

13/19/15 mpg

highway range

428 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50,000 miles

corrosion warranty

12 years

roadside assistance

4


Pictures & Videos

Videos
2021 Audi RS Q8 Review video

Styles

2021 Audi RS Q8 in Dragon Orange Metallic color 2021 Audi RS Q8 in Floret Silver Metallic color 2021 Audi RS Q8 in Galaxy Blue Metallic color 2021 Audi RS Q8 in Glacier White Metallic color 2021 Audi RS Q8 in Night Black color
Dragon Orange Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

9.9

Engine And Performance

9.5

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

9.4

Exterior

9.6

Safety

9.0

9.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Audi RS Q8 Base

Base

power
591 hp @ 6500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded
mpg
19 combined

$114,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
quattro 4dr SUV AWD (4.0L 8cyl 8A) Starting at $114,500 MSRP (17/19/22) 591 hp @ 6500 rpm, 4 L, V-8, Premium unleaded
8-Speed automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

9.2

Overall Rating


The 2021 Audi RS Q8 is a scintillating piece of engineering prowess. Sophisticated in almost every level imaginable, the RS Q8 is a definitive SUV that deems worthy of being Audi's flagship. With the automotive industry moving towards SUVs and crossovers, it was inevitable that Audi enters the playing field. Based on the MRA platform the Audi Q8 shares its underpinnings with the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, and the Porsche Cayenne. Of all that we know, if the Urus seems a bit overdone and you wish to prefer keeping things low key then the Audi RS Q8 is definitely one of the best bets out there.

2021 Audi RS Q8 SUV Front View
2021 Audi RS Q8 SUV Rear View

9.9/10
Features

9.5/10
Engine and Performance

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

9.4/10
Interior

9.6/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety


2021 Audi RS Q8 Features

9.9/10

The RS Q8 comes in one trim with several options packages to choose from. One of which is the Driver Assistance Package which includes Audi Adaptive Cruise Assist, traffic jam assist, turn to assist and predictive efficiency assist, Intersection Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Audi Active Lane Departure Warning with emergency assist. Options include appearance packages like the Black optic package and Carbon optic package.

Trims

Audi RS Q8

MSRP

$114,500

Features

S specific quad tailpipes

 

S sporty front and rear bumpers

 

Auto-dimming frameless rearview mirror

 

LED HD Matrix headlights with DRLs

 

Rain and light sensors

 

Tyre pressure monitoring system

 

Hill descent control, Hill hold assist

 

Predictive pedestrian protection

 

A dual touchscreen infotainment setup 

 

MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch and Audi connect 

 

Audi drive select

 

Power-operated tailgate

 

Wireless charging

The Black Optic package includes Blacked-out, door blades, grille, window surrounds and front and rear bumper inserts, Wheels: 23" Audi Sport 5-Y-Spoke Rotor Design Cast aluminum, anthracite, 295/35R23 Summer tires, Black Mirror Housings, Black Roof Rails, and a Sports Exhaust System. The carbon pack comes with Carbon Rear Bumper Inlay, Carbon Rear Lighting Strip, Carbon Singleframe & Front Bumper Inlays, and Carbon Mirror Housings.

2021 Audi RS Q8 Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

Audis of the past have been accounted for questionable reliability. However, things have changed and Audi as a brand is back at it in full pace. In fact out of the German trio, Audi is considered to be the most relaible brand. The RS Q8 has seen a lot of technological advancements and have been quite solid in terms of reliability. With more than hundreds of RS Q8 on the road, it’s no surprise this performance SUV is a hit amongst the ones who can afford it.

Reliability and Ownership Costs

When it comes to vehicle ownership, reliability plays an important role. The RS Q8 is yet to be rated by J. D. Power, the Audi Q8 on which the RS Q8 is based gets accolades as one of the highest-rated SUVs in Audi's lineup when it comes to reliability. With a J D power score of 81 out of a total of 100, the Q8 proves to be a strong contender for its rivals. Another particularly interesting trivia is that the Audi Q8 has not been accounted for in any recalls.

Type of Expense

Amount

Yearly Service 

$987(est)

Tire change 

$2012(est)

Insurance

$1920(est)

Total

$4919

The table above dictates the estimated costs for maintaining an Audi Q8 which could shed some light as to how much the RS Q8 costs. When it comes to maintenance costs, according to a study Audi is 8% more expensive than the BMW and 23% more expensive than Mercedes-Benz. Audi recommends you to service your car every 10,000 miles. An average oil change could cost you between $200-$350 and yearly average could be around $900-$1,200. At the end of the day, these are performance-oriented luxury cars.

Warranty

Audi offers the standard new vehicle limited warranty of up to 4 years /50,000 miles, which also includes Powertrain and Roadside assistance of the same . For certified pre-owned owners the benefits extend up to 5 years /60,000 miles and a Basic warranty of 1 year /unlimited miles after the expiry of the vehicle's limited warranty.

Criteria

Period

New vehicle limited warranty

4 years /50,000 miles

Powertrain warranty

4 years /50,000 miles

Roadside assistance

4 year/ 50,000 miles

Audi's competitors offer similar warranty schemes for their customers. In terms of offering an extended warranty, Audi's impressive 10 years – 120,000 miles extended warranty is great and proves satisfactory for the majority of customers.

Miles Per Dollar

Since we do not have a complete idea of what the entire cost of ownership would be, we are unable to calculate the MPD ratio. The said ratio is achieved by factoring the average number of miles driven in a year to ownership costs like financing, insurance, fuel costs and service/ maintenance costs.

2021 Audi RS Q8 Buying Advice

Since the Audi RS Q8 is available as a single trim, there is not much in terms of choice. However, getting bespoke options is not a biggie. Audi's Exclusive program allows customers to personalize their RS Q8 in any way they desire, with a price though. We would definitely suggest you tick a few optional extras such as the optional 23-inch wheels and the carbon fiber package to elevate the looks of the RS Q8. Not that it needs it but nonetheless, if you can then why not?

How about a used Audi RS Q8?

Part of the reason for owning a used sports car is because they depreciate heavily. Unless they are limited in numbers, they lose a ton of money each year. Of course if you are the sort of person who can afford such a fall then you wouldn’t be looking for a used sports car and rather be buying a new one. The RS Q8 is no exception to this notion, it depreciates heavily as well.

To put that into perspective, our inventory of used Audi Q8s show a 2019 model advertised for around $53,000 which is in fact a bargain given that these cars are built with intent and wouldn’t breakdown as mundane cars would.

2021 Audi RS Q8 Engine and Performance

9.5/10

The RS Q8 uses a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine. This is the same unit you’ll find in the new RS 6 Avant and is based on the Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Turbo. Power figures stand at a 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Transmission is an 8 speed ZF unit and the power is sent to all four wheels.

2021 Audi RS Q8 SUV has 4.0L twin-turbo V8 Engine

Models

Audi RS Q8

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

BMW X6 M

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

MSRP

$114,500

$80,600

$108,650

$130,500

Engine

4.0L twin-turbo V8

5.0L supercharged V8

4.4L Twin-turbo V8

4.0L twin-turbo V8

Transmission

8-speed Automatic

8-speed Automatic

8-speed Automatic

8-speed Automatic

Power

591 hp @6500rpm

550 hp@6500rpm

600 hp @ 5,500 rpm

541 hp @ 5500 rpm

Torque

590 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

502 lb-ft @2500rpm

553 lb.-ft. @ 1,800 rpm

516 ft-lbs. @ 2000 rpm

As for the competition, the Jaguar boasts a 5.0L supercharged V8 making 550 hp. The BMW uses a 4.4L V8 with two turbochargers belting out 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. In terms of raw numbers, the BMW takes the win here but the Audi comes very close. Comparatively, we prefer the engine of the Jaguar when it comes to exhaust notes.

What’s the Acceleration of the 2021 Audi RS Q8?

This is one of the fortes of these powerful cars. Even though they weigh more than any full-size pickup truck, they take off with some serious grunt. The Audi RS Q8 does the 0-60 dash in 3.8 seconds. Soon after the Jaguar F-pace finishes at 4.1 seconds. The RS Q8 is more like a cheaper Lamborghini Urus. 

2021 Audi RS Q8 SUV covers 0-60 in just 3.8 sec

Models

Audi RS Q8

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

BMW X6 M

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

0-60 MPH

3.8 sec

4.1 sec

3.8 sec

3.6 sec

Quarter Mile

11.8 sec

12.0 sec

12.7 sec

11.9 sec

Engine

4.0L twin-turbo V8

5.0L supercharged V8

4.4L Twin-turbo V8

4.0L twin-turbo V8

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/yr)

N/A

8.8

9.8

N/A

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo gets a trick launch control which shoots this behemoth off the line cleanly. A time of sub-four seconds to 60mph is absolutely mind-boggling and is more of supercar territory. Most of the cars here weigh well over 5000 pounds and posts impressive numbers that put supercars to shame.

Ride and Handling

The 2021 Audi RS Q8 packs in a beefier suspension to make it more dynamically pleasing. Out on the road, the Audi RS Q8 has a dual-personality. In comfort mode, the standard air suspension slackens off the ride for the utmost comfort. Stick it in some of the available sporty modes and the RS Q8 immediately feels sharp and responsive and the chassis feels lively. The Audi RS Q8 gets a 48-volt electromechanical active anti-roll bar which pushes the outside of the car in the opposite direction of the load for better cornering and to negate excessive body roll.

2021 Audi RS Q8 SUV Front View

2021 Audi RS Q8 Fuel Economy

7.0/10

For a 590 hp high-performance super SUV, this may not be one of its fortes. That said, the Audi RS Q8 returns a combined fuel economy of 19 mpg. Surprisingly the Audi is the most fuel-efficient while being the second most powerful car in this comparison.

Models

Audi RS Q8

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

BMW X6 M

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

MPG (city)

17

16

13

15

MPG (highway)

22

21

18

19

MPG (combined)

19

18

15

17

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

18.69

21.7

21.9

23.7

Range (city/highway) (miles)

318/412

347/455

358/482

356/450

The supercharged V8 of the SVR is not a very good motor when it comes to fuel efficiency. But in fact, it is the only car here that offers a linear power delivery, everyone else has a tolerance zone after which it just kicks in. Thanks to the larger fuel tank in the BMW X6, it has the most range.

2021 Audi RS Q8 Interior

9.4/10

The interiors of the RS Q8 resemble a lot to the SQ8. One of the highlights inside is the number of places where RS is written. It is very prominent inside the RS Q8. The dashboard design is a huge departure from previous Audi cars. The dash is dominated by two huge touch screens and they are tilted towards the driver. Carbon fiber inlays can be specced but the Audi SQ8 comes with highly reflective gloss black panels which do look smashing as long as they are clean and well dusted. Audi should give a butler as an optional package as well. 

2021 Audi RS Q8 SUV Dashboard

Models

Audi RS Q8

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

BMW X6 M

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.2/59.5/41.7

37.8/57.7/40.3

39.3/60.5/40.3

39.6/58.9/N/A

Second row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.1/58.5/40.2

37.5/55.8/37.2

37.9/57.9/35.6

N/A

Cargo Volume with rear seats up (ft.3)

28.6

33.5

27.6

26.3

The Audi RS Q8 is packing more cargo space than its closest rival, which is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Both the SUVs are based on the same platform but the Audi is a tad bit longer which translates to a bigger boot at the back as well. That being said, the Jaguar F-Pace SVR sweeps the floor with its competitors in terms of the available cargo space. Some of the interior features of the RS Q8 are:

  • Three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles
  • Power tilt and telescopic adjustable steering column with memory 
  • Gray/Brown Fine Grain Ash Natural Wood inlays
  • Auto-dimming interior rearview mirror with digital compass
  • Panoramic sunroof with power sunshade 
  • Ambient LED interior lighting package
  • Sliding, split-folding 40/20/40 rear seatbacks with adjustable recline 
  • Four-zone automatic climate control
  • 18- way power, heated and ventilated individual contour comfort front seats including power lumber, adjustment seat memory, and massage functions
  • 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.
  • Heated rear seats

How is the 2021 Audi RS Q8’s infotainment unit?

2021 Audi RS Q8 SUV Infotainment System

The Audi RS Q8 gets the latest iteration of Audi’s MMI system which makes way for dual touchscreens. Each and every function in the SUV is controlled through these touch screens. The displays are crisp and the infotainment system is fluid and intuitive unlike the one found on the Jaguars. For better usability, the touchscreens give haptic feedback to the user in order to make it easy to operate the screens on the move. The screens are highly susceptible to fingerprints, which is not the most pleasant sight. There is a separate 12.3-inch digital display which Audi likes to call it the Virtual cockpit. It works beautifully, has nice graphics, it’s not laggy and might just be one of the best in the business, but the MBUX unit in modern Mercs seems the best there is currently.

2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV cockpit area
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV front seats
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV steering wheel
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV dashboard
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV shift knob
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV front seats
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV steering wheel
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV rear seats

2021 Audi RS Q8 Exterior

9.6/10

The Audi RS Q8 has an aggressive yet toned down look. Consider the Audi RS Q8 as a Lamborghini Urus that has a bit less going on. The RS Q8 has a lower stance than the SQ8 and even sports a wider track that aids in better handling. Overall shape is reminiscent to that of the Bentayga and has immense curb appeal.

2021 Audi RS Q8 SUV Three Quarter View

Models

Audi RS Q8

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

BMW X6 M

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Curb Weight (lbs.)

5180

4395

5115

5056

Length (in.)

196.3

186.5

194.5

194

Width (in.)

78.5

81.5

78.9

78.1

Height (in.)

67.1

65.7

66.8

65.9

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.7

8.4

8.5

7.4

Wheelbase (in.)

117.9

113.1

117.1

114

Track Width (in.) F/R

66.1/66.4

64.6/65.1

64.7/67.2

66.2/65.9

The 2021 Audi RS Q8 can be regarded as one of the best looking SUVs out there. The looks are not in your face, unlike its Italian cousin, the Lamborghini Urus and it is not intending to be an outright jacked coupe like the BMW X6. Some of the exterior features of the Audi RS Q8 are as follows:

  • Singleframe grille with the body-colored mask
  • HD Matrix-design LED headlights with animation
  • LED taillights with animation
  • Power adjustable, power-folding, heated exterior side mirrors with memory
  • Aluminum-optic trim around exterior side windows
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Power tailgate with a roof spoiler
  • Headlight washers
  • Power soft-closing doors
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV front view
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV rear view
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV rear three quarter view
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV three quarter view
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV three quarter view
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV left side view
2021 Audi RS Q8  basic SUV rear three quarter view

2021 Audi RS Q8 Safety

9.0/10

Even though the RS Q8 has not been tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA, we don’t yet have the scores for the 2021 model. But with what we know Audi has supplied the RS Q8 with a lot of safety features that offers a lot of reassurance to the passengers. Some of the features offered are:

  • Advanced Airbag Protection System with 6 airbags
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) in rear seats
  • Power central locking system with safety unlock feature if airbags deploy
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Offroad mode, secondary collision brake assist and traction control (ASR)
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and brake assist
  • Electromechanical parking brake
  • Rearview camera
  • Tire-pressure monitoring system
  • Parking system plus (front and rear acoustic sensors)
  • Anti-theft alarm system with immobilizer and motion sensor

2021 Audi RS Q8 Competition

Audi RS Q8 vs Jaguar F-Pace SVR

The JLR's special vehicles operation division has always done a marvelous job in bringing out a meaner version of a standard car. The F-Pace is no exception, the SVR is an exhilarating SUV. The glorious exhaust note form the supercharged V8 is the best in the business. Also, a 575 hp SUV may seem a bit absurd but let's face it that's how the world is these days. There is no too much of anything in the world as we speak.

Audi RS Q8 vs BMW X6 M

The BMW X6 M is the high-performance version of the X6. It comes with a 600 hp 4.4.L V8 which is just a hoot of an engine. Although this is a 5000 pound SUV, it is much less of a pain in the bends as compared to the Jaguar F-pace SVR. We definitely like the design of the RS Q8 to that of the X6 M which looks like a BMW X5 with a chopped rear. That said, the BMW has the most power and is definitely the nippiest one here which makes it irresistible.

BMW X6 M SUV

Audi RS Q8 vs Porsche Cayenne Turbo

The Porsche Cayenne turbo shares the underpinnings with the Audi Q8. Although it is from the same parent company, both have totally different personas. The Porsche Cayenne is not the most powerful nor is it the fastest, but it has the distinct Porsche DNA that is missing in the rest of the cars here. Dynamically the Porsche feels more nimble and agile than the Audi which in turn makes it a better alternative if you intend on throwing your car around a track often.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo SUV

2021 Audi RS Q8 Final Verdict

The Audi RS Q8 is a very versatile and compelling proposition for someone who has the means to spend well over $100,000 on a car. The RS Q8 makes no sense from a traditional SUV perspective or its not the most practical car out there. That said, for the baller that you intend on becoming why not spend some on this piece of machine. As far as ridiculousness goes this RS Q8 is on top of the list with its corporate cousins like the Lamborghini Urus and the Porsche Cayenne.

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